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Coronet Instructional FilmsAre You Ready for Marriage? (1950)

something has gone horribly wrong 8-p
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Two teenagers, wishing to marry early, visit their minister for advice and receive counseling, some of it quite pragmatic, the rest a little strange.


This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives

Producer: Coronet Instructional Films
Sponsor: N/A
Audio/Visual: Sd, B&W
Keywords: Social guidance; Marriage; Gender roles

Creative Commons license: Public Domain


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Reviews
Average Rating: 3.89 out of 5 stars3.89 out of 5 stars3.89 out of 5 stars3.89 out of 5 stars

Reviewer: JayKay49 - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - June 19, 2014
Subject: Boing!

That probably already happened to Larry in the backseat of the car 6 dates before this movie began when what's-her-name's sweater went up over her head.

As for deciding whether they share common interests? That takes 15 to 20 years of marriage and by that time it's moot.

Gets a B - For some reason the kids and the parents act just like, well....actors.

Reviewer: lady adokenai - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - January 27, 2011
Subject: Dating
"you could say we're engaged to be engaged!"

isn't that called DATING? :D

I might have a different idea of dating for the average 21 year old though, I'm honestly not sure...

Reviewer: IN MY OPINION - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - January 17, 2011
Subject: IN MY OPINION
They should find a inventor who can build them a time machine and get them out of the 20th century and into the 21st century.
Then they can do whatever they want and with whomever they want in the 21st century.
IN MY OPINION

Reviewer: doowopbob - 1.00 out of 5 stars - May 9, 2010
Subject: ....Well I...
....Already Broke Her Cherry, So I Guess, Kinda Sorta, Nah....Let Her Marry Earl, He;s A Dumb Fu##..!

Reviewer: dystonia_gene - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - January 31, 2010
Subject: Aw, He gave her his pin!
So, the angle is naive when compared with today's handshake sex ideals. In fact, it was a little annoying. The terminology used is definitely unlike that which is employed these days. However, most of the points about building relationship and having a clear picture of obligations still applies.
So, I wondering what everyone is talking about in the other reviews. Just what kind of marriages are you guys getting into anyway? Perhaps that's why we divorce half our couples.
Another thing to remember: Teens were getting married at a much higher rate then than they are now. So, something a silly a the 'Boing!' to indicate sexual chemistry only speaks to the patronizing, condescending, although perhaps legitimately concerned view families (parents) took on their youth 60 years ago.
In those days, there had been no Disney Channel, no Nickolodeon or MTV to teach us that kids, in fact, do know more than their goofy, bumbling parents.
So 3 stars, just because it is a great snapshot of a culture long faded.

Reviewer: bippy - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - December 22, 2008
Subject: Larry the 19 year old engineering student with a low IQ
One of the funniest unintentional comedy bits I've ever seen at around 8:27. The so called engineering student Larry apparently did not realize the elasticity of rubber when stretched tightly. His look of amazement when the rubber band flew off and the deep concern of his fiancee, "Where did it go!!?" does not bode well intellectually for any offspring from these two. Maybe Larry should change his career path to fry cook or car washer instead.

Reviewer: Marysz - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - June 17, 2006
Subject: Looking Over Cupid's Checklist
Teenagers Larry and Sue visit an overly Brylcreemed marriage counselor, Mr. Hall, at their church to discuss the responsibilities of marriage. As the previous reviewers of this film have wittily pointed out, Hall just happens to have an extraordinary display of learning aids in his office, the most interesting of which is a board labeled âMarriage Developmentâ on the top and âPsychological Distanceâ on the bottom. On the board are little figurines attached with strings. To demonstrate the fact that their sexual desires arenât enough to base a marriage on, he takes a rubber band and says âboing! (So much for his so-called expertise) Then he snaps the rubber band away and Larry says, surprised, âWhat happened to it?â Then, Sue cries out, âWhere did it go?â The film doesnât make any great intellectual claims for this couple. Even though Hall is at Larryâs church, the religious aspects of marriage are ignored in this film. Larry and Sue agree to postpone their engagement and continue with their education (remedial, from the looks of it). Sueâs dad has âmade arrangementsâ for Sue to go to âState U.â I wish it was still so easy for us to get our kids into college. In the end, Larry and Sue sit surrounded by their parents, who have the dowdy look that older people had in those days when middle-aged people felt no obligation to try to look young. Fortunately for them, Sue and Larry are oblivious to the fact that this will also be their fate.

Reviewer: ERD - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - November 19, 2005
Subject: Marriage-1950's style
One must remember the film was made in 1950- over 55 years ago. Morals were stricter & a lot of emotional behavior was expected to be under control or restricted. The film starts out as a drama and then becomes a lecture. A few things make sense, others are totally archaic when compared to today's thinking. The film is a look into past thinking. The young actors do a good acting job.

Reviewer: autoguy - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - November 16, 2005
Subject: Confusion Reigns
Outlines the efforts of a young couple wishing to advance to a more modern relationship model, but let themselves be manipulated by outdated and obsolete ideals. The young man, much farther ahead of his time than he knows, opts for more modern instant gratification and convenience. Having known the young woman for three long months, it only made sense that they elope to the 24 hour drive-thru wedding chapel to be married by Elvis. His machinations become clear as he reveals his plan to work as little as possible, while sending his new wife off to a full time job. The young woman, horribly inept, has been left completely unequiped to seek a mate by her equally confused mother. The situation is further complicated by a strange man who feels that marraige is nothing more than a child's board game, and fills their heads with unrealistic and outdated ideas and procedures. By the time the smoke clears, the poor young woman is left hopelessly confused with no clue about marraige in a modern western society. While saved for the moment from the exploitations planned by her boyfriend, will she go on clueless forever? Or will she realize this young man will likely make only twice the average wage? He owns no real estate, no investment fund, no obvious sizable inheritance, no indication of even a CAR! We can only hope she comes to realize that a happy relationship is impossible with a man so common and average, and wisely reject the antique ideals and brainwashing from those around her.

Reviewer: Ja30fitz - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - July 24, 2005
Subject: Sue's Father Knows All The Answers, Doesn't He?
This film is a campy old gem and very funny, if not strangely bizzarre. Somewhat simple Larry and his not too intelligent girlfriend Sue wish to get married, but they are told not to rush into it. They are given an explanation by a man named Hall that borders on truly bizzarre, and at the end Sue's father ends up solving all the problems!!! A truly hilarious look into marriage in the early 1950's.

Reviewer: depthfunction - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - April 6, 2005
Subject: BOING!
The only thing that saved this from being one of the dullest Coronet films ever made was The BOING! I read the other reviews before watching the film, so I knew The BOING! was coming, but nothing can truly prepare you for it. When I first heard it I laughed so hard that I almost fell out of my chair. That was the best laugh I've had in a while - thank you Prelinger Archives!

Weren't they allowed to use phrases like "sexual attraction" or at least "physical attraction" back in the 1950s? Because I just can't understand what sort of logic would make The BOING! a better screenwriting option.

Reviewer: depthfunction - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - April 6, 2005
Subject: BOING!
The only thing that saved this from being one of the dullest Coronet films ever made was The BOING! I read the other reviews before watching the film, so I knew The BOING! was coming, but nothing can truly prepare you for it. When I first heard it I laughed so hard that I almost fell out of my chair. That was the best laugh I've had in a while - thank you Prelinger Archives!

Weren't they allowed to use phrases like "sexual attraction" or at least "physical attraction" back in the 1950s? Because I just can't understand what sort of logic would make The BOING! a better screenwriting option.

Reviewer: depthfunction - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - April 6, 2005
Subject: BOING!
The only thing that saved this from being one of the dullest Coronet films ever made was The BOING! I read the other reviews before watching the film, so I knew The BOING! was coming, but nothing can truly prepare you for it. When I first heard it I laughed so hard that I almost fell out of my chair. That was the best laugh I've had in a while - thank you Prelinger Archives!

Weren't they allowed to use phrases like "sexual attraction" or at least "physical attraction" back in the 1950s? Because I just can't understand what sort of logic would make The BOING! a better screenwriting option.

Reviewer: Darthdemona - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - January 9, 2005
Subject: It's gone!
The question shouldn't be "are these two ready for marriage?" The question should be "should people as stupid as these two be allowed to reproduce?" Larry, an engineering student, seems mystified by the elastic properties of a rubber band. Hilarious.

Reviewer: iljc116 - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - March 9, 2004
Subject: Are we?
Gee, so far it seems like my boyfriend and I have more than just BOING...but where is MY - I mean OUR - man with a chart?

Reviewer: josephaw - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - January 26, 2004
Subject: That's all interesting but...
humm, I read that God is the one who came up with marrage.
I didn't hear the name of God mentioned once from that fellow from their church or what God's word says about our relationships and how we are supposed to love and what example are we to follow.
They best find another church where the word is taught and applied to instructions given to young people, else what hope will they have?
Joe

Reviewer: Spuzz - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - December 29, 2002
Subject: "Boing"
I love Coronet guidance films. They're the furthest away from any psychological truth and behavior. Take, for example "Are You Ready For Marriage?" A hilariously overdrawn yarn about 2 kids who want to tie the knot, and go to their Church's family counsellour for guidance. The counselour shows them this device, something about psychological distance, that I still can't understand after watching it twice. The counselor then starts explaining how attraction starts, by using this word. "Boing". No explanation on what it means, but I think we all KNOW what it means... Soon, he says that the relationship grows thin, just like the elastic.. "And soon.." He let's go of the elastic. The two kids yell "It's Gone!" "Where did it Go?" Just like their relationship, lol.
The acting in this never rises above sub-standard. with special note going to the female actress who plays the part as BORINGLY as possible.

Reviewer: Cambot - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - November 20, 2002
Subject: Boing!
What needs to be understood here is that these dopey 50's teens think that some guy with charts and graphs can make their pending marriage a success. I mean, even if they get married they'd still just be stuck in the stuffy and repressed 1950's! It's a miracle any of our parents even bothered back then. BOING!

Reviewer: Christine Hennig - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - October 6, 2002
Subject: Are You Ready for Marriage?
Larry loves Sue. Sue loves Larry. Larry and Sue want to get married. Problem: Sue's parents don't approve. So Larry and Sue visit a marriage counselor over at "the church" and he tells them they won't be ready for marriage until they become one fused unitÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂotherwise, their marriage might snap like a rubber band! ("Where'd it go??" they cry.) The marriage counselor's props alone provide great camp value. It's also fun to watch Sue's parents (who must be at least in their 70's) spout psychobabble.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****. Also available on Mystery Science Theater 3000 Episode #616: Racket Girls and Teenage Turmoil, Vol. 6.

Shotlist

Are You Ready for Marriage? was produced to stem the epidemic of youthful, impetuous, and unsuccessful marriages following World War II. The Coronet catalog entry for the film reads: "A very young couple have just about decided to elope since the girl's parents object to the marriage. However, they first decide to talk over their problem with the marriage counselor at the church. During this talk they find that they really don't know too much about each other, and the counselor suggests that they should ask themselves some questions before getting too serious. Questions like 'do they have similar backgrounds?,' 'are they real friends?,' and 'do they understand marriage?' He also stresses that when people are ready for marriage, they sense a new feeling between them-a feeling of paired unity. In conversation, 'I' changes to 'we.' "
The film begins with a long, slow kiss on the porch, an unusually intimate moment for an educational film. Things rapidly change, though, when Sue's parents forbid her engagement to Larry. Led by Mr. Hall, the minister/counselor, Sue a Larry quickly learn that there's more to marriage than mere sexual attraction-"boing!" Mr. Hall uses the Marriage Development board, an awkward but compelling visual aid featuring little dolls linked by rubber bands, to illustrate the concepts of "psychological distance" and "emotional makeup." Fascinating graphs emerge from the edges of this apparatus illustrating marital success as it relates to age before marriage and length of engagement. Cupid's checklist, which in one form or another shows up in most American premarital training literature, asks whether the couple comes from similar backgrounds, whether they are real friends, and whether they understand marriage. The temptation for us to rate ourselves on these scales, even if we fail, is irresistible.
Time hasn't been friendly to this film, but its out-datedness makes it amusing and fascinating to watch. The teenage actors squirm and whine in their unrealizable passion, and Mr. Hall lectures them at some length. There is a great deal of talk in this film, probably because it strove to bring sex- and love-crazed teenagers back into the grown-up, logocentric world of reason, and Mr. Hall pursues the praiseworthy goal of getting Sue and Larry to talk about things that matter. "No difference of opinion?" he asks. "Or no opinion?" With little subtlety, the film also raises the issue of "correct" gender roles. It's all one way or another, as Sue explains: "But I don't want a girl . . . I want a man, like Larry." The ending is happy. Sue and Larry, "engaged to be engaged," realize they now have more than "boing" going for them.
There's a wealth of good advice in Are You Ready for Marriage?, but it seems pitifully naive next to training films for slightly older people (This Charming Couple and Who's Boss, for instance, focus on the arbitration of power relations in marriage). Aside from Sue's parents' insistence that she get at least some college education, Are You Ready for Marriage? does not anticipate much of the heavy stuff that serious couples inevitably experience, perhaps in order not to frighten teens away from marriage altogether. Yet, by stressing resolution of key issues prior to marriage and ignoring those that emerge later on, the film suggests that social contradictions somehow dissolve on wedding day. And of course, there is no real consideration of how society dictates different roles for men and women within the confines of matrimony.
Are You Ready for Marriage? manages to be simultaneously touching and annoying. It is a film about acceptance and submission. Sue and Larry learn on their own to accept society's conventional wisdom. No one could accuse the authorities behind films like these of serving their own interests-the films really were "for the good of the children." But even if the advice is correct, does the survival of our culture require children to accept the dictates of their counselors and parents with so little imagination? We survived the sixties, when all rules seemed up for grabs, but have we truly gotten the fifties, with its complexes of obedience and its deference to authority, out of our systems?
From Educational Screen, September 1950: "The evaluating group felt that the film should be very effective on the high school level both in group and individual counseling. In addition to its effectiveness in high school guidance situations, the film should also be useful in extra-school young people's organizations, as well as teacher and parent study groups. The producers are to be complimented on creating an atmosphere of life-like situations. The film skillfully avoids stereotyped characters, stale and trite expressions, and unnaturalness."


Ken Smith sez: Larry and Sue, a couple of fresh-scrubbed teens, want to get hitched -- but Sue's parents disapprove. The two lovebirds decide their only recourse is to visit "Mr. Hall," a marriage counselor with incredibly wide lapels on his suit jacket. He shows them a "psychological distance boardÓ complete with tiny wooden dolls tied together with piano wire and shoelaces and -- somehow -- this helps them understand that they should wait until they're older. Educational Screen remarked; "The producers are to be complimented on creating an atmosphere of life-like situations." Good stuff, and the cast is a veritable Who's Who of classroom films: "Sue" starred in How To Be Well Groomed, her "dad" had the feature role in Build Your Vocabulary, Mr. Hall played "Treadway" in The Middletons At The World's Fair, and "Larry" went on to play a heroin junkie in Drug Addiction.

MARRIAGE FAMILIES ADOLESCENTS TEENAGERS STUDENTS BOYS GIRLS COUNSELING SOCIAL GUIDANCE BEHAVIOR HUMOR ROMANCE SEXUALITY NECKING PORCHES COUPLES SODA FOUNTAINS RESTAURANTS LUNCHEONETTES PARENTS WEDDINGS DIAGRAMS MODELS ENGAGEMENT HOUSEWORK MEN WOMEN COLLEGES NARRATIVES
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